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Bar Council of India Appeals to Universities, Government: Uphold Legal Education

The Bar Council of India (BCI) has sent a circular to vice-chancellors and departments of higher education throughout the nation, urging them to support the top lawyers’ organization in its “endeavour to uphold the sanctity and quality” of legal education.

The general council of the top lawyers’ body passed a resolution in June 2015 urging all state governments and universities to impose restrictions on the issuance of No Objection Certificates (NOCs) for opening new law institutes and affiliations to them for a three-year period, according to a representation issued by Srimanto Sen, secretary of the Bar Council of India (BCI).

“Despite this resolute decision and the subsequent issuance of circulars to the effect, it is regrettable to note that over 300 NOCs were issued by state governments, and affiliations were granted by universities,” the circular dated April 15 said.

“This concerning trend highlights the urgent need for stricter adherence to regulatory measures to curb the unchecked proliferation of law colleges across the country,” it added.

Listing the “suggested guidelines” for the grant of NOCs, including the financial viability of the proposed law institution and its compliance with all regulatory standards, the circular said, “The responsibility for curbing the mushroom growth and proliferation of substandard law colleges does not rest solely on the shoulders of the BCI.”

It said while BCI was to its regulatory role, the active involvement and cooperation of universities and government bodies was indispensable to achieve the goal of maintaining the highest standards of legal education.

“It is crucial to recognize the pivotal roles played by both the state government and the universities in addressing the mushroom growth or proliferation of substandard law colleges”.

“The foundation for tackling this issue lies in the groundwork carried out by the state government’s higher education department and the universities, which serve as the grassroots entities responsible for regulating educational standards,” the representation said.

It underlined the three stages of establishing a law college. One, obtaining a NOC from the state government; two, the concerned university providing affiliation; and three, the BCI approval.

“By meticulously adhering to these stages, the state government, higher education departments and universities can collectively mitigate the proliferation of substandard law colleges,” the representation said.

“We appeal to universities and the ministry of education in each state to join hands with the BCI in our endeavour to uphold the sanctity and quality of legal education in India,” it added.

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(Source: NDTV)

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